Natalie Portman’s red carpet look for this year’s Academy Award was easily one of the best ensembles at the event — until it wasn’t.
The actress — whose Hollywood career spans almost three decades — made a major fashion statement when she stepped out of the Oscars red carpet in a gorgeous Dior gown and cape. Custom made by the luxury fashion label, the gown is designed with a black bodysuit for a base topped by sheer insets with intricate gold embroidery. It’s definitely a showstopper on its own but what really made waves was the fashion-forward cape the finished the whole look.
Now dubbed as Portman’s “feminist cape,” it features a subtle detail that is difficult to miss. Embroidered along the cape’s trim is the names of women filmmakers who weren’t given due recognition for their amazing work at the 2020 Oscars.
Like one Cosmopolitan article said, “Like, you can’t NOT love this whole ensemble.” And yes, the entire look was initially well received with many applauding Portman’s contributions to continue the discussion about snubbed female directors. However, things took quite a turn when Twitter users pointed out that Portman’s production banner, Handsomecharlie Films, has only produced for one female director — Portman herself.
A slew of criticism followed and it all went downhill from there. Many called the A-lister a “hypocrite” for not hiring other female directors and described the move as “performative.” Activist and filmmaker Rose McGowan even went on a lengthy rant online about how Portman was a “fraud.” Yikes! One good thing that did come out of this is that gender diversity discussions continue on and maybe the industry can even follow through.